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JD Sports says multichannel investment has helped it stay ahead of athleisure trend

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JD Sports today said that its investment in multichannel retail had helped it to profit from the current popularity of athleisure clothing.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said its sports fashion brands were the foundation of its success. “The investments made over a number of years in developing our multichannel retail proposition and driving improved buying, merchandising and retail disciplines have given us the platform to exploit the favourable trends which exist for athletic inspired footwear and apparel throughout Europe,” he said. “We remain committed to continually enhancing our proposition for both customers and third party brand partners.”

He said that new flagship stores in London, Glasgow, Newcastle and Amsterdam had helped to develop JD’s reputation “for setting the highest standards of visual merchandising and retail theatre.” He added: “The new flagship stores, which also embrace the latest innovations in digital technology, take these standards to a new level.”

It said it had also estabslished Tessuti and Scott as as “premium brand multichannel fashion retailers, based on our strong relationships with the major global premium brands.”

The update came as JD Sports announced revenues of £1.8bn in the year to January 30, some 20% ahead of the previous year. After exceptional items of £25.5m, which included the cost of terminating a project to replace its core IT systems, pre-tax profits came in at £131.6m, 45% ahead of the £90.5m reported last time. The group said it had decided not to continue with the project because it believed it could build on in-house developed systems to grow with more agility and at a lower cost.

Executive chairman Peter Cowgill said he was delighted with a second “very strong” set of results for the year. “During the year we have expanded our international presence with additional stores in existing European territories together with a number of stores in new countries. We continue to gain traction in Europe and are confident of the opportunities that exist for the JD fascia in these markets.”

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